The Class Response
Mr. Marin over exaggerates the point of his childish behavior to prove his point. He is trying to provoke the viewer to question why a teacher should be able to demand respect without having earned it, yet preaches to kids that the only way to get respect is to earn it. He is trying to point out the irony in the situation. Mr. Marin acts more immature than the kids do. He got easily provoked by the young girls and called them skanks. He made sarcastic comments making fun of the other people but not allowing anyone to talk that way to him. His behavior is less respectful than normal students. I say normal because the kids in his class acted absurdly also. He could be trying to say that kids should act that way towards teachers who don’t practice what they preach.
Mr. Marin wants to show a problem with the schooling system. Kids are forced to be there, and are forced to respect the teacher. Yet the teacher does nothing to earn they’re respect. The students are taught to act a certain way, but the teachers fail to be the role model. Which passes on a conflicting message to young kids, confusing them. That type of environment discourages the pursuit of knowledge; instead it encourages the students to unite together against the system in a way. Why do we break rules just because they are rules?
The Class is a good contrast to Freedom Writers. The movie takes place at a school in Paris, yet most of the kids in the class come from a foreign country. The class is as diverse if not more so than the class in Freedom Writers. We see that despite their different backgrounds they all get along perfectly. They are all good friends. It seems that everything that Ms. Gruwell worked for in The Freedom Writers, to unite the class despite their differences, had already occurred before Mr. Marin came in to teach them. The unity however did not encourage them to study or better themselves. They seemed pretty unified in their desire to disrupt class and put off learning. One kid interrupted a lecture to ask about his grades, all he cared about was an increasing gpa instead of Mr. Marin’s efforts to teach him. It is interesting how Ms. Gruwell devoted her whole life to trying to have her students unify and Mr. Miran’s class is unified despite different races and backgrounds yet they use their unity against him.
Freedom Writers Response
The students in Freedom Writers resist the entire school system because they believe that the school doesn’t even want to teach them, so what is the point of wanting to learn? They all have much more serious problems to deal with at home then homework. And when they get to class they are surrounded by their enemies on the streets. School is a joke to them, just as the school thinks that they are a joke.
Ms. Gruwell is able to succeed because she proves to them that she is actually interested in their future, and that she wants them to learn. She puts effort into them, and they give her effort in return. The saying you get what you put in fits the situation. Before Ms. Gruwell the school didn’t invest any interest in them so they invested no interested back to the school. But before she could teach them, she had to unify them. Their whole lives they had been told to protect their own. Nobody that is different is important. Their only concern is their own people. They were all the same kids and had the same lives, only difference was the color of their skin. Mrs. Gruwell was able to realize that and she was able to open the kid’s eyes to that knowledge. Once Mrs. Gruwell was able to unify them and gain their respect she was able to teach them, and they were willing to learn.
This movie is trying to portray two points. The first is that the color of the skin doesn’t matter, kids from the same area are the same. Race means nothing in the big picture. The second point is that if someone is willing to put enough effort into making a difference in the world, it is possible. It isn’t easy but, “never, never, never, never give up.”- Winston Churchill